Severance agreement withdrawn by my employer

I was recently terminated from my administrator's job and was presented with a severance agreement, which was already signed by the COO. I reviewed it and sent a letter negotiating the proposed amount. Subsequently, I received a letter from the COO indicating the unilateral proposal was denied and the agreement is withdrawn. I then signed and sent the original agreement within the 21 days. My question is: Do I have a legal right to the original severance package signed by the COO and what are my legal rights? Thank You

1 answer  |  asked Nov 26, 2004 1:06 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (1)

Christopher Ezold
You do not appear to have a legal right to the original severance package

Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, you do not appear to have a legal right to the original severance package. In Pennsylvania, there is no right to any severance pay, other than what is contained in a contract.

A contract is, essentially, an offer that is accepted. The original severance document was an offer that gave you up to 21 days to consider it. That 21 day period may be where your confusion began. Although you had 21 days to 'consider' the offer, you did not have 21 days to 'negotiate' the offer. When you 'negotiated' the terms of the offer, you were, under the law, rejecting the original offer and counter-offering your own proposal. That rejection by counter-offer prematurely ended your 21 day consideration period.

Once you legally rejected the company's offer by counter-offering, their deal is off the table, so to speak, and your proposed deal is on the table. When the company declined your offer, they did not have an obligation to re-issue their original offer.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
Nancy O'Mara Ezold, P.C.
401 City Line Avenue,
Suite 904
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Nov 29, 2004 08:28 AM [EST]

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